By John Elworthy
Monday, January 28, 2013
AN EIGHT page police report objecting to a further off licence in Wisbech town centre – which would bring the total to 21- fell upon deaf ears today.
“Need is not a consideration we can place any weight upon,” ruled Councillor Kay Mayor, chairman of Fenland Licensing Committee in granting the application.
“We acknowledge the applicant is now in possession of her personal licence and we also acknowledge that the applicant and the police have been in mediation,” she said.
“Both parties have agreed to certain conditions.”
Police had mounted a strong campaign to stop the new Polska Chata store at 50 Market Street from getting its licence to sell alcohol.
PC Adam Pearce who visited the applicant, Sylwia Kobielska, of Marshland St James, had noted that she “is currently pregnant and it not known when the baby is due to be born.”
He said police had concerns about the suitability of Mrs Kobielska and because of her pregnancy “it is not known who will run the premises when she has her baby.”
PC Pearce said Mrs Kobielska had missed many things out of her application including details of an age verification scheme for customers, training of staff, and supervision.
“The applicant has just passed her personal licence course so what experience does she have in managing such a premise?” PC Pearce told the hearing.
“Unfortunately for the applicant she is applying for a premises licence at a time when this subject is very high on the public agenda. Street drinking, public urination and alcohol related crime and disorder in Wisbech is a serious concern.”
County councillor Steve Tierney’s comments from community Shape Your Place were included in the report to the hearing.
“My own opinion is that the solution to local alcohol misuse is the proper policing of our streets,” he wrote.
“Whether there are 46 or 47 places to buy a beer makes little difference. As long as you can pop to Tesco you can get a drink after all. The difference is made via a zero tolerance approach to those who commit crime and antisocial behaviour as a result of their drinking.”
Nearly 240 people had signed a petition calling for the licence to be refused. However the committee allowed it to go ahead with 11 conditions covering training and use of CCTV.